The newest adaptation of "Carrie," released on Oct. 18, seeks to be a new interpretation of the 1976 classic based on Stephen King's book, rather than just another stale Hollywood remake. “Carrie” offers an fresh re-imagining of the 1976 classic, delivering plenty of gore and thrills for today's blood-loving horror fan.
Kimberly Peirce, SoA ’96 and director of the Academy Award-winning “Boys Don’t Cry,” doesn't take many liberties with the most iconic moments of the original “Carrie,” but Peirce gives it a contemporary spin in other parts.
There are twists and turns in Peirce's version that no one would expect, not even those who have seen the original. The story of a high school girl being bullied today wouldn't be complete without the addition of the Internet. It doesn't take away from the original narrative at all, which makes clear that even though bullying looks a little different today, it still has the same traumatizing effect.
Chloë Grace Moretz plays the title role with an awkwardness that many of us former high school outcasts know too well. She is seemingly crippled with timidity in a way that is identifiable but also pitiable. The casting of each character seems meticulous in nature, since some actors don't appear to fit their roles aesthetically. The actors chosen call the viewer’s attention to the ways in which the image of a high school mean girl or jock has changed since 1976.
Julianne Moore's performance as Carrie's mother is chilling. She adds multiple layers to a character that has been perceived in previous representations as though she could be easily understood. Throughout the film, it’s difficult to discern whether or not she's a villain. Moore captures the complexity of a mother-daughter relationship while convincingly portraying a mentally ill, ultra-religious woman raising her child in the way she thinks is right.
Most of the scares in the beginning happen through sound. In the original “Carrie,” most of the horror is saved for the end, but today's horror moviegoer wants scares from beginning to end. In order to achieve this, Peirce scrambles to put those scares together in a way that remains true to the original film, and the result is not without some cheap scares that feel pushed. But as the film progresses, the bloody gore intensifies, and horror addicts will rejoice.
Feminism and the realization of female power appear in the film in a way that they hadn’t in 1976. This is interesting and timely in 2013, when in most horror films, nudity is much more common in a female death scene that in a male one. But expect intellectual heft. After all, it is a horror flick. What makes “Carrie” different is its solid, classic storyline, which is just as relevant today as it was 37 years ago.